Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35

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"Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"
Single by Bob Dylan
from the album Blonde on Blonde
B-side "Pledging My Time"
Released April, 1966
Format 7"
Recorded March 10, 1966
Genre folk rock, blues-rock, jazz
Length 4:36 (album version)
2:26 (single edit)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
Producer(s) Bob Johnston
Bob Dylan singles chronology
"One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)"
"Rainy Day Women ♯ 12 & 35"
"I Want You"
Blonde on Blonde track listing

"Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" is a song by Bob Dylan and the opening track of his 1966 album, Blonde on Blonde.


The song is notable for its unusual brass arrangement and the somewhat controversial "They'll stone ya" in every line of the verses, plus the refrain of "But I would not feel so all alone--everybody must get stoned!". Robert Shelton's 1986 biography of Dylan, No Direction Home, states that the song was banned by some American and British radio stations because it was perceived as a "drug song".[1]

The song is essentially a simple blues chord progression in the key of F. The parts played by the trombone, tuba, piano, bass, drums, and tambourine remain practically the same in all of the verses. There can also be heard much laughter and shouting in the background, mixed down to a low volume level, and Dylan himself laughs several times during his vocal delivery. According to Howard Sounes' book Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, Dylan refused to play the song "straight," meaning sober, and large milkshake cartons of "Leprechaun Cocktails" (normally served in shot glasses) were supposedly brought in for the band to consume – but this was a myth according to session musician Charlie McCoy, who was present at the time. The cocktail incident refers to a Leonard Cohen session. However, musical instruments were swapped on the session. During the recording, Dylan was high on cannabis, having passed joints around before the recording.[2]

Chart positions[edit]

The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the UK Singles Chart. Unlike Dylan's previous six-minute hit single "Like a Rolling Stone", the single edit of "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was significantly shorter than the original album version, omitting the third and final verse.

Cover versions[edit]

The first cover version of "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was recorded not long after the original by "Blonde on Blonde" producer Bob Johnston and many of the musicians from the Bob Dylan session. It was released in 1966 by Columbia records on the album "Moldy Goldies: Colonel Jubilation B. Johnston and His Mystic Knights Band and Street Singers."

The song was performed by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on their 1968 album Nashville Airplane.

The song was covered by The Black Crowes, first released as a B-side from the 1992 "Hotel Illness" single. In 1995, The Black Crowes' version was included on the "Hempilation: Freedom Is NORML" benefit album for the NORML organization.

Ben Fong-Torres recorded a parody entitled Rainy Day Bookstores for the 1998 charity compilation album Stranger Than Fiction.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have covered this song many times between 1985-2008, one version which appeared on the Bob Dylan tribute album, "The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration"

The song was covered by Sammy Hagar on his 2006 album Livin' It Up. Country music artist, Jessi Colter, recorded a version for her 2006 album, Out of the Ashes. Jimmy Buffett performed a cover version in concert on his 2007 and 2008 tours. A parody/cover of this song can be found on The Meatmen album Toilet Slave.

Lenny Kravitz also covered the song on the 2012 compilation "Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International".


  • Shelton, Robert (1986). No Direction Home; The Life And Music of Bob Dylan. 27 Wrights Lane, London. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-010296-5


  1. ^ Shelton, Robert (2011). No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan (rev. & updated ed.). Milwaukee: Backbeat Books. pp. 224–225. ISBN 9781617130120. 
  2. ^ Howard Sounes, Down the Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan. (Doubleday 2001) ISBN 0-552-99929-6, p2034